We have, in the last 24 hours, been called prostitutes, pedophile bait, and been accused of singlehandedly setting the suffragette movement back 20 years. It was fun at first to read everyone's comments, but at 270 and counting over at SB and other blogs it's getting kind of hard to deal with. I wish people would just let it go at this point. We did something we thought would be fun and a great icebreaker to introduce people to the Shomi line. We didn't think it would stir up such a storm.
The miniskirt heard round RWA
The implication that troubles me the most, however, is that because we chose to market ourselves by wearing manga inspired outfits to promote a manga inspired book we must have crap books that no one would want to buy elsewise. Or that we didn't spend any time writing these books because we were too busy...shopping? I don't know. We worked our asses off to write these books. Liz's got a starred review in PW and I got an awesome 4 star review from RT. (My PW review is not out yet.) The costumes were part of our author branding...totally different thing.
And people who believe that good books stand on their own and succeed without publicity should meet some of my extremely talented writer friends who have had their series cut midway through or have been unceremoniously dumped by their publisher even after winning major awards.
I'm not saying costumes are the way to go. Or that they will replace the responsibility of writing a good book. But costumes are just one tiny part of our author branding. It just seems to be the part everyone is choosing to focus on in the last 24 hours. And yes, there are plenty of bestselling authors who never wore costumes, but there are also famous musicians who never wore anything but jeans. But I like David Bowie better. :)
I'm trying to remind myself that people who would declare in blogs that they would NEVER buy a Shomi book now that they've seen my thighs at conference are probably not my target audience anyway. And at least now thousands of people who never knew me and my books existed now do. Will it lead to sales or book burning? I don't know. (If you're going to burn my book though, can you please purchase it the first week it goes on sale? hehe) All I know is that I had fun at the conference and the costumes helped Liz and I meet a lot of great people we normally wouldn't have met and so I can't say, even though controversial, it was a mistake.
At the same time, I think I'm going to like Comic Con next week much better. ;-)